Ganjam district, the biggest one in Orissa, is now gearing up to emerge as the total banking district of the State.

“Banking facilities will be available in all remote un-banked and under-banked areas of the district by March 2011,” official sources said.

Earlier, the central government has stressed providing banking services in every village having over 2000 population and the Reserve bank of India (RBI) asked the banks to make arrangements to achieve the goal.

As many as 261 villages have been identified in Ganjam as un-banked and under-banked. All these villages are allotted to 12 different banks as service area, said district lead bank manager (Andhra Bank) A. K. Pradhan.

The district consultative committee has asked the banks to provide the banking facilities in these villages either through a brick and mortar branch or through any form of Information Communication Technology (ICT) based models including Banking Correspondent (BC) or Banking Facilitators (BF) model, he said.

While all banks accepted the proposal, some of them like the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) have already started to render banking facilities in the remote villagers, said a senior district official.

SBI has decided to appoint BFs in every gram panchayat in the district to pay the wages under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGREGS) at the door step, while IOB has started to introduce the Smart Card facility in pilot basis at Biswanathpur village under Rangeilunda block recently.

District collector V. K. Pandian said bankers have been asked to make necessary arrangements of providing banking connectivity in rural villages.